19.01.2021
Category: technotrans, 2021

technotrans secures a major electromobility contract: customised cooling solutions for regional trains


  • Regional trains in the north of Germany and in the UK
  • User-specific cooling technology for a high level of reliability and performance
  • Seven-digit order volume with a high probability of follow-up orders

technotrans SE supplies customised battery cooling systems for electrical trains in Europe within the framework of two series orders. The company will equip the regional trains of Nahverkehrsverbund Schleswig-Holstein as well as those of Wales & Borders Rail Services. The two projects have a seven-digit order volume, and technotrans expects comparable follow-up projects.

In today's rail infrastructure, lithium-ion batteries are used on non-electrified line sections where the trains cannot be supplied with electrical energy via overhead lines or third rails. To boost electromobility solutions in the rail sector, a growing number of cities and local authorities are adopting battery-powered trains for public transport, e.g. Nahverkehrsverbund Schleswig-Holstein and Wales & Borders Rail Services. An essential factor for the operation and a long service life of the batteries is the precise thermal management.

When it comes to liquid-based battery cooling solutions for public transport applications, technotrans is one of the leading manufacturers of the market. "Our long-standing expertise in this area as well as our solution competence were the decisive factors in winning the contract," says Michael Finger, spokesman of the board of technotrans SE. The company from Sassenberg will equip a total of 79 regional trains of both companies with customised cooling systems during the project phase from 2020 to 2023. "The projects are an excellent opportunity to further expand our leading market position in the rail sector. We think there is a high probability for follow-up orders of a comparable magnitude," says Michael Finger.

Schleswig-Holstein chooses an efficient cooling system
According to Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. (Environmental Action Germany), only approx. 60% of the German railway network is electrified with only 29% in Schleswig-Holstein. This is why battery-powered trains will be used in Schleswig-Holstein starting at the end of 2022. 55 battery-operated FLIRT trainsets will replace the diesel trains used on the northern and eastern lines. Thanks to their roof-mounted batteries, these trains can run purely electrically for 150 km. Since the batteries heat up during operation, a powerful cooling system is a must. "This is where technotrans comes into play. We have developed a customised mobile cooling system which ensures a constant temperature level and, thereby, the reliable and efficient operation of the trains. In addition, we have optimised the system in terms of its energy efficiency and operational reliability by integrating an economical, passive cooling solution and a redundant refrigeration and hydraulic circuit," explains Michael Finger.

Special design for British electrical trains
The British railway network is the oldest network worldwide, but it is not the most environmentally friendly one. Not even one third of its lines are electrified. However, this is about to change: Wales & Borders Rail Services has ordered 36 CITYLINK tram trains and 35 FLIRT trainsets. The CITYLINK tram trains have a 25 kV electric drive combined with battery operation. In addition, 24 of the ordered FLIRT trains can also be supplied with electrical energy through batteries. technotrans has developed a customised cooling solution for the batteries in close consultation with the battery and traction system supplier as well as with the train manufacturer. "We have provided innovative concepts for an optimum technical design in order to realise maximum cost savings," says Michael Finger.

Cooling concept as a must for rail-based electromobility
In view of the protection of our climate, the railway industry plans to discontinue the use of diesel drive systems and to instead electrify the entire German network. "The growing number of battery-powered trains is accompanied by a growing need for efficient, compact and customised cooling systems. Thanks to our technological expertise, we are ready to address the challenges of tomorrow," stresses Michael Finger.

For further information, please visit www.technotrans.com